I am available speak at libraries, schools, bookstores, etc., anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area.
Each presentation is roughly one hour in length (though they can be longer, upon request) and includes time for audience questions.
Here are my main presentations:
The Art of the Con
This presentation is based on my book, The Big Con (published 2016 by ABC-CLIO).
The presentation looks at con artists such as Charles Ponzi (from whom we get the term “Ponzi scheme”) and Bernie Madoff and scams such as online romance fraud, the Nigerian Prince email, disaster fraud, pyramid schemes, medical fakery and other forms of deceit.
This talk includes commentary about how to avoid being scammed and why old cons continue to flourish under new guises.
The following interview, recorded September 2016 with Talk Radio Europe will give you a sense of what my presentation about “The Art of the Con” is like:
The Boy on the Bicycle: A Forgotten Case of Wrongful Conviction in Toronto
This presentation is based on my recent book, The Boy on the Bicycle: A Forgotten Case of Wrongful Conviction in Toronto.
The Boy on the Bicycle examines the case of 14-year old Ron Moffatt, who was wrongly convicted of murdering a child in Toronto in 1956. The case involves a coerced confession, a fumbled police investigation and a crusading lawyer who sought to free Ron from custody.
This talk includes commentary about wrongful convictions, false confessions and police interrogation protocols for young offenders.
Capone and Schultz: A Swaggering Crime Boss and a Mobster Misfit
This presentation focuses on Al Capone and Dutch Schultz, two men who epitomized certain aspects of American gangster culture in the 1920s and 1930s.
Capone was a major mob boss in Chicago while Schultz was a force to be reckoned with in New York City.
While sharing certain similarities (both men rose to power in part through bootlegging—selling illegal alcohol during Prohibition—and were beset with tax problems), the personalities and eventual outcomes of these two crime figures were drastically different.
Edwin Alonzo Boyd: The Life and Crimes of Canada’s Master Bank Robber
Blessed with movie-star good looks, charisma and charm, Edwin Boyd, son of a Toronto police officer, became the most notorious bank robber in Canada for a brief period in the early 1950s.
The so-called Boyd Gang (the name newspapers applied to the bandits who coalesced around Boyd) garnered huge headlines for their daring armed robberies in Toronto.
Boyd had a reputation for being a “gentleman bandit” who never hurt anyone during his robberies. But does this image reflect reality or mask a more violent, sinister side to Boyd’s criminal past?
This presentation is based on my book about Edwin Alonzo Boyd.
Research Techniques for Writers
Whether you are trying to find out what wheat prices were in the 1920s or secure court documents, corporate reports or police memos, research can be a vital component to writing compelling fiction and non-fiction alike.
In this workshop, I explore deep research techniques for writers and offer tips on how to look through archives, deal with bureaucrats, make information requests and find material that others might have overlooked. A handout will include several helpful research sources for writers.
The techniques discussed in this workshop will help all writers, regardless of genre.
This presentation is based on my own experience as the author of over a dozen non-fiction books.
Steven Truscott: Decades of Injustice
This presentation is based on my book of the same title, which looked at the tragic case of a small-town Ontario teenager wrongfully convicted of murder in 1959.
To get a sense of my speaking style, here is a video of a crime writer panel I appeared on. This was recorded November 23, 2017 at Toronto Reference Library. My part begins at the 23 minute mark.
I charge reasonable rates and require minimal equipment. For more information, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.